Eye on 2014, Omar overhauls team



Jammu, Jan 15: In a major reshuffle in his four-year-old government, Chief Minister Omar Abdullah Tuesday inducted 10 legislators- seven from National Conference and three from Congress –into his council of ministers.
Following the induction of new faces, Omar also reshuffled his entire Cabinet but retained portfolios of Abdul Rahim Rather (Finance), Ali Muhammad Sagar (Rural Development and Panchayati Raj), Mian Altaf (Forest, Environment and Ecology), Ghulam Hassan Mir (Agriculture Production) and Sakina Itoo (Social Welfare).
Former Advisor to the Chief Minister Mubarak Gul has been designated as Speaker Legislative Assembly replacing Muhammad Akbar Lone, who has been inducted into cabinet.
The National Conference legislators inducted into the Cabinet include Muhammad Akbar Lone (Sonawari), Choudhary Muhammad Ramzan (Handwara), Ajay Sadhotra (MLC) and Mir Saifullah (Kupwara). The party also brought Sajad Ahmed Kitchloo, Feroz Ahmed Khan and Nazir Ahmed Khan (Gurez) as Ministers of State.
The Congress on the other hand inducted only two new faces, Ghulam Ahmed Mir (Dooru) and Abdul Majid Wani (Doda) as Cabinet ministers and Vikar Rasool Wani (Banihal) as Minister of State.
The Chief Minister also dropped seven of his ministers, including one from Congress from the Cabinet in order to pave way for the new induction. They include Surjeet Singh Salathia, Qamar Ali Akhoon, Abdul Gani Malik, Aga Syed Ruhulla Mehdi, Nasir Aslam Wani and Javid Ahmad Dar. Congress dropped RS Chib who was looking after Medical Education department as his term as MLC is expiring in March this year.
Their resignations were accepted by Governor NN Vohra on the recommendation of Chief Minister just ahead of the oath ceremony. Beside the ministers, the Chief Minister has also accepted the resignations of his two Advisors and some of the heads of advisory boards, while other ministers were retained.
One of the Advisor Devender Singh Rana was assigned party responsibilities, while the other Mubarak Gul has been designated as Speaker.
Governor NN Vohra administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newly inducted ministers.
Muhammad Akbar Lone, Chowdhary Muhammad Ramzan, Mir Saifullah, Ajay Sadotra Ghulam Ahmed Mir and Abdul Majid Wani were administered oath as Cabinet Ministers, while Sajjad Ahmed Kichloo (Kishtwar), Feroz Ahmed (Zanaskar), Nazir Ahmed Khan (Gurez) and Vikar Rasool (Banihal) were administered oath as Ministers of State.
Following the reshuffle, the Chief Minister afresh allocated portfolios to the members of his council of ministers.
Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand was stripped of Housing and Urban Development and assigned School Education. His portfolios were assigned to Nawang Rigzin Jora (Urban Development and Urban Local Bodies) and Raman Bhalla (Housing, Horticulture and Culture).
Abdul Rahim Rather retained Finance and Ladakh Affairs, Peerzada Muhammad Sayeed got Public Enterprises, Haj, Auqaf and Floriculture. Ali Muhammad Sagar (Rural Development & Panchayati Raj), Mian Altaf Ahmad (Forest, Environment & Ecology), Taj Mohi-ud-Din (Medical Education, Sports and Youth Services), Sham Lal Sharma (PHE, Irrigation and Flood Control), Ghulam Hassan Mir (Agriculture Production), Sakina Itoo (Social Welfare, ARI & Trainings and Public Grievances), Akbar Lone (Higher Education), Choudhary Ramzan (Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution and Transport), Ajay Sadhotra (Planning & Development and Labour & Employment), Ghulam Ahmad Mir (Tourism), Abdul Majid Wani (R&B and Mechanical Engineering), Mir Saifullah (Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs).
Ajaz Ahmad Khan was assigned Independent Charge of Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Dr. Manohar Lal Sharma MOS (Independent Charge) of Fisheries, Cooperative, Printing & Stationery and Elections, Minister of State for Finance and Planning, Higher Education, Forests, Environment and Ecology, Labour and Transport and Shabir Ahmad Khan MOS got Independent charge of Health.
Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo was assigned MOS (Independent Charge) of Industries & Commerce and Minister of State for Home, R&B and Mechanical Engineering, Housing & Urban Development, Tourism & Culture, Feroz Khan MOS (Independent Charge) of Science & Technology and Information Technology and Minister of State for Medical Education, School Education, Youth Services & Sports, Nazir Ahmad Khan (Gurezi) was assigned Independent Charge of Animal & Sheep Husbandry and Minister of State for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Horticulture, Agriculture & Floriculture.
Viqar Rasool was assigned Independent charge of Technical Education and Minister of State for Law, Justice, Parliamentary Affairs, Rural Development and Panchayats, Social Welfare, Power, Hospitality & Protocol, Information and Consumer Affairs & Public Distribution.
The charge of Home, General Administration, Power Development, Information, Civil Aviation, Hospitality & Protocol, Estates and all other departments not allocated to any other Minister were retained by the Chief Minister.
Observers believe that the reshuffle was a calculated move by the Chief Minister as he managed not only to bring some new faces into his council of ministers but has at the same time ensured representation to some left-over pockets of the state.
Kichloo is the lone NC MLA from the Chenab Valley while Mir Saifullh and Choudhary Ramzan will be representing Kupwara district. While Lone is also from North Kashmir, Nazir Gurezi and Feroz Ahmed will be first ever ministers to represent most far off areas of Gurez and Zanskar respectively.


Tara Chand,DY CM                   
School Education

Abdul Rahim Rather          
Finance & Ladakh Affairs

Peerzada Sayeed          
Public Enterprises, Hajj, Auqaf Floriculture

Ali Muhammad Sagar  
Rural Development & Panchayati Raj

Mian Altaf Ahmad         
Forest & Environment

Taj Mohi-ud-din         
Medical Education,Sports & Youth services

Nawang Rigzin Jora  
Urban Development & Urban Local Bodies

Sham Lal Sharma   
PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control

Ghulam Hassan Mir   
Agriculture Production

Raman Bhalla              
Housing,Horticulture & Culture

Akbar Lone                    
Higher Education

Choudhary Ramzan 
CAPD & Transport

Ajay Sadhotra   
Planning & Development, 
Labour & Employment

Ghulam Ahmad Mir 

Abdul Majid Wani  
R&B, Mechanical Engineering

Mir Saifullah   
Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs


Ajaz Ahmad Khan  
MOS Revenue, Relief & Rehabilitation
Dr Manohar Lal Sharma  MOS of Fisheries, Cooperative, 
Printing & Stationery and Elections
Minister of State for Finance and
Planning, Higher Education, Forests, 
Environment and Ecology, Labour 
and Transport
Shabir Ahmad Khan   MOS (Independent Charge) Health
Sajjad Ahmad Kitchloo  MOS (Independent Charge)
of Industries & Commerce
Minister of State for Home, R&B and 
Mechanical Engineering, Housing & Urban Development, Tourism & Culture
Feroz Khan    MOS (Independent Charge) of
Science & Technology and 
Information Technology
Minister of State for Medical 
Education, School Education, 
Youth Services & Sports
Nazir Ahmad Khan (Gurezi) MOS (Independent Charge) of 
Animal & Sheep Husbandry
Minister of State for PHE, Irrigation
& Flood Control, Horticulture,
Agriculture & Floriculture
Viqar Rasool   
MOS (Independent Charge) of
Technical Education
 Minister of State for Law, Justice,
Parliamentary Affairs, Rural
Development and Panchayats,
Social Welfare, Power, Hospitality
& Protocol, Information and Consumer        
Affairs & Public Distribution

Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 Jan 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 15 Jan 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 16 Jan 2013 00:00:00 IST

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